Saturday, 19 January 2013

A day of two halves!

With more snow falling overnight and Sutton Utd v Truro having already been called off it was always going to be another visit to Beddington Farm. An early start was the order of the day but obviously not early enough as Factor and Dodge walked into a Short Eared Owl as it passed over the Farm. But this was clearly just the start of the days action.

The Glaucous Gull made another appearance on the lake and was later re-located on the side of the refuse tip. This time I managed to take a reasonable picture of the bird.

(Glaucous Gull)
There was a cast of thousands arriving at the Farm and more eyes searching always improves the chances of birds being found. At 8.52am the masses were treated to an Exocet missile in the form of a Merlin that flew south in hot pursuit of a Meadow Pipit. This bird disappeared out of site as quickly as it arrived only to re-appear near Mile Road bridge a while later. This was a Surrey VC and Beddington tick for me! A celebration followed with the opening of a lolly in true Kojak style!!

Yellowhammer were heard by Pinpoint at the gates, Tank and Glen confirmed they had had two birds on the mound and then the two birds flew across the front of the hide just in case anyone had missed them. 

Tank who was walking the site re-located the Merlin in a tree by the newly constructed road bridge by Hackbridge Railway Station. This provoked an army style march by the remaining birders in the hide. The yomp was cut short by the news the bird had flown off!

During the morning there was a good movement of Lapwing and Fieldfare and then a high flying "v" of Golden Plover which flew south. 

At around 1pm I parted company with the Farm and drove to Holmethorpe Sandpits thinking I could easily bag the Smew! I arrived and scanned Mercers lake which was plastered with gulls. No Smew to be found so I moved to the Aqua club to take a different view of the lake. I saw two Egyptian Goose on a pontoon but still no Smew! I thought they must be on Mercers West with the Goldeneye. I walked across Mercers Farm speaking to Sean who stated he had not seen the Smew either. Hmm this is not looking good! The Goldeneye was on Mercers West so the walk was not in vein. 

My next stop was the Water Colour lagoons. I stopped and asked a Snowman if he had seen the Smew, he just threw his arms in the air he had obviously failed in his quest to locate them!

I checked the lagoons and noted what was there and returned to Mercers lake to scan the gulls and hopefully see the Smew! But no Smew this afternoon I bet they will be seen tomorrow! I text Dodge before returning home and found out I had missed three Dunlin.

At home there was just about enough daylight to check the garden and I saw a Fieldfare tucking into the rotten apples in front of the feeders. Another good days birding!

I wonder what tomorrow will bring?!

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